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Civilians Treatment Tim OBrien is If I Die in a Combat Zone is a realistic tale of day to day life in the Vietnam War Tim is not only the author of the book he is also a veteran of the war Tim creates a detailed picture of what life was like for a United States soldier Tim also shows how the soldiers were forced to treat all Vietnamese as the same person for the fear of the Viet Cong soldiers VC He tells how soldiers spent their days hour to hour and minute by minute with enemies and civilians soldiers They were torn between trusting civilians who could be the VC soldiers or shooting civilians in fear of them being the VC soldiers If I Die in a Combat Zone is told through the eyes of Tim OBrien He paints a picture of the horror and the beauty that he saw living in a land of chaos It was the late 60s and early 70s and the United States declared war against the Vietnamese The VC soldiers were not a regular army They did not wear uniforms and they looked like everyone else in Vietnam This made trusting and working with civilians very difficult because as a soldier you should never let down your guard So the only way to feel safe was to treat everyone including the women and children as part of the VC It is safe to say that not all of the American soldiers treated the Vietnamese with respect After being in the country for a while the soldiers began to trust a small number of Vietnamese civilians In the book OBrien tells the reader about an old blind man who owned a well One day OBriens platoon sat down to get a little rest and relaxation at the old mans well As the old man starts to wash one of the soldiers another blustery and
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